The permanent residents and citizens of Australia who’re under 50 and have an exemption to travel outside Australia in a certain category can now easily have access to the Covid-19 vaccinations. Australians are the first priority for the Government of Australia as it strongly prefers that all Australian residents and citizens must be vaccinated before they travel abroad.
Travel exemptions will be granted on or after 20 May 2021. However, there’re some circumstances under which Australians can be eligible to get the travel exemption. These circumstances include,
- You’re traveling for your business or employer in Australia
- You need urgent medical treatment which is not available in Australia
- If you have an emergency and need to travel for the personal business
- You’re traveling for the national interest of Australia
- You have compelling and compassionate reasons to travel outside Australia
- Your travel is a part of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak which includes the provision of aid
If you get the travel exemption before the 20th of May 2021 and you’re still in Australia so you can apply for the travel exemption again. You can resubmit all your documentations and state that you want to be eligible to get vaccinated before traveling.
Moreover, if you get the outward travel exemption for 3 months on compelling and compassionate reasons so you might not be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccinations. While Temporary Visa holders in Australia under 50 years who have got the approved inward travel exemption to return to Australia can get access to the Covid-19 vaccinations.
You must get your travel exemption on or after the 8th of June 2021 if you want to be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccinations. If you get the inward travel exemption to return to Australia before the 8th of June 2021 and you’re still in Australia so you can request a new travel exemption. You can provide your documents and state that you want to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations before traveling.
Travel to India
People who want to travel from Australia to India can get the travel exemption under specific circumstances. They can travel to India if,
- They’re critical workers and traveling to providing assistance to India’s Covid-19 outbreak response
- Their travel is in the national interest of Australia
- They need some medical treatment which isn’t available in Australia
- They have to attend the funeral of a close relative or family member
- People traveling to India to visit their family member who’s ill
- They want to travel to India to escort an Australian permanent resident or citizen minor back to Australia.
People must provide the evidence to support their claims to travel to India from Australia. Moreover, the exemption criteria for exceptional circumstances are defined in the Outward Travel Restrictions Operation Directive. However, it doesn’t include the limited circumstances which are stated above and do not apply to people who seek to travel to India from Australia.
Travel to New Zealand
The Australian Government has currently suspended quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand. However, Australian permanent residents or citizens who have been staying in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days before leaving can move to New Zealand. They do not need to apply for the outward travel exemption to travel to New Zealand.
Furthermore, this policy is only applicable if your destination is New Zealand. Though, you must apply for the outward travel exemption if you want to move from New Zealand to some other country.
Travel to Papua New Guinea (PNG)
According to the current health advice by the Australian Government, the Covid-19 outbreak in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is extremely dangerous for the Australian community. Traveling from PNG to Australia can put Australia at a great health risk.
However, people who want travel exemption for exceptional circumstances to travel from Australia to PNG will only get approved under extremely limited circumstances. Such as,
- If people have critical safety roles in PNG
- Critical workers who’re traveling to provide help to PNG’s COVID-19 response
As the current situation of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Australia, there’re still travel restrictions in the state and territory borders. The present situation has caused business closures in Australia and requires social distancing. Despite all the Covid-19 restrictions, international visitors are allowed to travel back to Australia when it’s possible.
However, people who hold the Temporary Visa lodge an application for the travel exemption if they want to travel back to Australia.
TR Visa Holders Returning Home
Temporary visa holders affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic can get back to their home country if the border restrictions in their country allow them to travel. However, they don’t need a travel exemption to leave Australia. They can depart from Australia at any time as long as border restrictions in their country permit them to travel back.
The Covid-19 situation will not remain the same as it’ll continue to change. You must check the border restrictions and flights availability each week. Commercial flights are accessible from the major airports across Australia. You may also contact your embassy to know if there’re any private or government repatriation flights to your country.
Your details will be provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which will send your information to the home government. Moreover, if you want help from your Embassy or Consulate so you can contact them directly.
This policy is only applied to Temporary Visa holders.
TR Visa Holders Leaving Australia for a Short Trip Overseas
Temporary visa holders can leave Australia at any time they want. However, they’ll not be allowed to return to Australia. They can apply for the inward travel exemption if they wish to depart and return to Australia. Applications for the inward travel exemption will get approved under the following circumstances.
If applicants fulfill the requirements of an individual exemption from Australia’s Inward Travel Restriction
If they’re leaving Australia on compelling and compassionate reasons and provide the supporting evidence to prove their claims. Such as, if they’re traveling for business purposes. Moreover, if they want to travel to attend a funeral of a close family member or need medical treatment which isn’t available in Australia.
Australians and Permanent Residents
The Australian permanent residents and citizens cannot leave Australia due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions. They can apply for the travel exemption if they want to travel from Australia. You must meet any of the following requirements before you apply for travel exemption.
- You’re traveling for a business purpose
- Your travel is part of the response to the Covid-19 outbreak which includes the provision of aid
- You’re traveling to get medical treatment which isn’t available in Australia
- Your travel includes the national interest of Australia
- You’ve compelling reasons to travel outside Australia for 3 months or longer
- If you’re traveling on compelling and compassionate grounds
Moreover, you must provide valid evidence to prove your claims. Your request may be processed without any further consideration if your evidence is incomplete. Evidence includes,
- Marriage Certificate
- Birth Certificate
- Death Certificate
- Evidence of your relationship such as a joint bank account or shared tendency agreement
- Proof that you’re traveling to another country for a long period. You can show your job offer letter, leases or evidence of your goods which are being transported
- Evidence of your current valid visa including in Australia or abroad
- A letter from your doctor or hospital about a medical treatment along with a statement to show that why your travel is important
- A letter from your employer to prove that you’re traveling for a business purpose
- Evidence or statement to show that when you will return to Australia
- You can add any other evidence to support your claims
Travel for Three Months or Longer
If you want to travel outside Australia and need an exemption from Australia’s outbound travel restrictions on the basis of leaving Australia for three months or longer so your travel must be for compelling reasons. Moreover, you must provide evidence to support your statements.
You can submit your evidence in the form of the Commonwealth Statutory Declaration. However, the Statutory Declaration must demonstrate that you applied for the travel exemption on the basis that you will not be present in Australia for the next three months.
Your evidence must include,
- The enrolment confirmation for the study
- Confirmation of three months leave from your employment
- A certificate from you doctor or hospital to prove that you’re traveling to provide medical aid to a sick family member
- Any other evidence to support your request for a travel exemption
Important Instructions for Covid-19 Vaccinations
Besides, applicants who provide false statements in a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration will get the penalty under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959. Requests will be finalized without any further consideration in case of insufficient evidence provided to the Statutory Declaration.
The Australian Border Force will be tracking compliance with periods of declared travel. All your evidence must be officially translated into English.
Australians who want to travel outside Australia can take help from Smartraveller to get to know about the risks before traveling. Moreover, applications for travel exemption that have incomplete documents or evidence to support your claims will be rejected right away.
You can apply for the travel exemption at least two weeks before your departure. However, you shouldn’t apply for more than two months before your travel. Further, the duplicate applications will face a delay in assessment.
If you do not get the travel exemption so you must not continue your travel plans further. Whereas, if you get the exemption so you’re required to take the evidence of your exemption to show at the airport.
You’re automatically exempt from travel restrictions in Australia or you can depart from Australia without getting the travel exemption under the following circumstances.
- If you’re and ordinarily resident in a state other than Australia
- If you’re a member of an airline, maritime, or an associated safety worker
- If you’re a citizen of New Zealand and holds a Special Category (Subclass Visa 444) even if you live in Australia
- You’re involved in the daily conduct of outbound and inbound freight
- If you want to travel in association with the significant task at any offshore facility in Australian waters
- If you’re traveling on the Government business which includes members of the Australian Defence Force or an Australian Government official who’s traveling on a diplomatic or official passport
- If you’re traveling to New Zealand directly and you’ve been staying in Australia or New Zealand for the last 14 days or longer before your travel date.
If international movement records show that you’ve spent most of the time outside of Australia than inside for the last 12 to 14 months so you’ll be considered as an ordinarily resident. You’re not required to carry a paper record of your movements with you. However, the officers of the Australian Border Force will check your movement records in their systems if required.
Likewise, if you don’t think that you need a travel exemption so you can show this evidence while checking in to the airport. Though, if you think that your circumstances don’t fall under the category of ordinarily resident so you can request the assessment at least two weeks before your departure.
The Australian Government has declared that permanent residents and citizens of Australia under 50 years along with the travel exemption can have access to the Covid-19 vaccinations. As the Covid-19 travel restrictions are still in place so the Australian Government has set some conditions for travel exemption to travel to India, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Furthermore, you can be exempted automatically to travel from Australia under a few circumstances. You may visit the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) to check out the application process for travel exemption. Moreover, you can see the details to access the Covid-19 vaccinations as well.
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.